Readers might recall my summary of a long process well before any ‘consultation’ about a glossy ‘hub’. OUR NHS - Destabilise>demoralise>dismantle. And perhaps they would have read the quote from the annexe to my web site when I stood, with some exhilaration, as a truly independent candidate in Newton Abbot last December. Here it is again -
In his report to the Conservative Party’s Economic Reconstruction Group in 1977, Nicholas Ridley wrote that: "...denationalisation should not be attempted by frontal attack but by preparation for return to the private sector by stealth. We should first pass legislation to destroy the public sector monopolies. We might also need to take power to sell assets. Secondly, we should fragment the industries as far as possible and set up the units as separate profit centres."
But do not look just at the Tory party. The other two, Tweedledum and Tweedle, have the same core. This is called, by euphemism, ‘neo-liberal’. ‘New liberal’ - that is having been either on the ‘right’ or the ‘left’ before. This is typical of the distraction used to fascinate the minds of the electorate/plebiscite. The EU has it in its core also. The essence is the idea that competition brings efficiency and general good, as against the command economies of the former USSR or Mao’s China. The reader will know that neither ideology brings too much ‘good’. Good comes from the essential spirit within the human, and indeed the animal kingdom, along with ‘common sense’.
I gave a talk in Bournemouth to a group of women. Some were of a group concerned with subversions of our moral compass, say for instance the mutilation carried out under ‘gender re-assignment’. I will spare you the details but tell you I have had no responses from the immediate past president of ‘my’ college, the Royal College of Surgeons. I had asked him whether the ethics committee had discussed and pronounced on this unethical aspect of surgery – for instance the removal of the male organ. He was urged to reply twice more but I was fobbed off.
The talk was about OUR NHS as it was being transformed, ie dismantled, under the April First 2012 ‘Health and Social Care Bill’ which I alluded to in my last piece. The amateur video, taken by a husband, is linked here on my web site https://youtu.be/su4Qm5pvagY Its title was “Our NHS, Going, Going, Almost Gone.” This was on the 16th of March 2013. I said that we were dealing with ‘an elemental fight between the common good and capital with open talons’. As I was speaking a good metaphor came to mind - ‘death watch beetles in the timbers of the NHS’. And so it is. The process is silent but for the clicking of these beetles in their mating season; the clicking of so many key boards extends the metaphor.
And so I come to the CCG and its ‘consultation’ about a ‘hub’, essentially a bureaucracy whereas general practice is a ‘hands on’ human and humane activity and privilege, which forms the bedrock of medical services in Britain. I wrote of the necessary qualities last week. By perpetual brainwashing, many citizens have accepted that when they are ill or distressed, there is a transactional set up akin to ‘going on line’ for that cheaper hair dryer or whatever. The politicians have rammed this in with commercial lingo, and this Bill does it with a central message - ‘commissioners (the Clinical Commissioning Group), and the ‘providers’ ie the supposedly independent ‘contractors’ the GPs, the district hospitals, the many outsourced contractors etc etc. Part of provision is the supply by the likes of Serco and Mitie of sandwiches for supper in the DGHs, when patients recovering from a multitude of conditions need tempting with good cooking and ingredients. Hence the deaths of at least a dozen patients with a Listeria species. (This bacterium can also cause foetal deformity going on to miscarriage.)
We are talking of a lowered Britain where ‘cheap skate’ in there in fact and thinking. The paramount psychopath and war criminal Blair was good at this. One of his slogans for the NHS was ‘choice’. There is great irony in that now. Choose to wait a few years for relief of that gnawing pain at night from your arthritic hip.
I set up a talk in July 2007 in the Meeting Room of the Methodist Church in Totnes with a good late friend and with the widest publicity. I could see that Community Hospitals were under threat; councillors in all local towns with CHs were written to personally by me. John Lister, a health economist, came down from Oxford at my invitation. About 35 people came, mostly GP friends and their ex-nursing wives – St Mary’s. There was one councillor and about 5 lay persons. The title of my talk in 2007, and under a ‘Labour’ government, was ‘Your NHS, Going, going, gone.’
So now we have it. Greater demand than ever, and shrinking facilities and depth of care. The public showed its apathy in the face of a conscientious doctor and surgeon 13 years ago. Will it lie down and return to ‘cap in hand’ doctoring as we had in the 1930’s and grumble later? Or will it say that the CCG is irrelevant and its present consultation a sham? That it is worse than that with its sleight of hand in rolling in the closure and bulldozing of Teighnmouth Hospital. The Gunning Principles for public consultation require firstly “consultation must take place when the proposal is still at a formative stage;.. “Building in January 2021” !!
A good consultant colleague wrote this during my election campaign -
In brief, I support you campaign to re-open more hospital, community and social care beds and facilities.
In my world of caring for the local population's sickest patients, we are frequently hamstrung in our efforts by the lack of the above facilities.
I am in no doubt of the negative impact on NHS patients of healthcare policies in the last decade.
Best wishes for your campaign for a better NHS.
Consultant - Torbay ( I made it anon.)
Message – wake up if you are asleep, be informed, think, stand up and speak up.